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Feb. 2020 the


J.W. Mitchell High School 2323 Little Road New Port Richey, FL 34655


Issue 4 Volume 18


“I’m excited for Valentine’s Day because Benson [Thacher (‘21)] and I can celebrate being together. I’ve had gift ideas planned out that I can’t wait to give him. It’s a day where we can have fun and go on a date,” Bella Holton (‘21) said. (pgs 8-9) Photo by Hailey Kroll

Issue Four Table of


News (page 3)

• HOSA members qualify for states • New bus loop under construction for the 2020-21 school year • Movie filmed on Mitchell football field

(pg. 12) Photo by Jelayna Vasquez

Lifestyles (pages 5-7)

• Three tips for being single on Valentine’s Day • Predictions based on your zodiac sign • Recap of the NJROTC Navy Ball • HOSA collaborates with OneBlood that allow students to donate blood • Students share their past Valentine’s Day fails • Seminar students start their six-part process to prepare for their AP and end of course exams • How to chose the best elective for you • Four band students make it to All State

Centerspread (pages 8-9)


Photo by Jelayna Vasquez

(pg.11) Photo by Jelayna Vasquez

• Tips and tricks on how to talk to your crush

Sports (pages 11-13)

• The cheer squad qualified to Nationals • Girls varsity soccer made it to the playoffs • Wrestlers kick off their season • Boys varsity team sets goals for the new year • Super Bowl LV fans share their opinions • On Feb. 12, boys weightlifting started • Khamari Smith (‘21) is the male Gregg Schindler Athlete of the Month for February • Charlotte Vari (‘20) is the female Gregg Schindler Athlete of the Month for February

Entertainment (page 14)

• The perfect playlist for Valentine’s Day • Student council raises money through ticket sales for the Winter Ball • Concerts coming to Florida

Opinions (page 15)

• Staff editorial on avoiding student loan debt • Faces in the Crowd: What is the funniest pickup line that you have heard? • Legalizing recreational marijuana

Back Page (page 16)

• Boys’ and girls’ point-of-view on a first date

Connect with us on Twitter and Instagram at





(pgs. 8-9)

(pg. 12) Photo by Richard Daley

Photo by Hailey Kroll



Published six times a school year, the student newspaper of J.W. Mitchell High School is a public forum with its student editorial board making all the decisions concerning its contents. Unsigned editorials express the views of the majority of the editorial board. Letters to the editor are welcomed and will be published as space allows. Letters must be signed, although the staff may withhold the name upon request. The paper reserves the right to edit letters for grammar and clarity, and all letters are subject to laws governing obscenity, libel, privacy and disruption of the school process, as are all contents of the paper. Opinions of letters are not necessarily those of the staff nor should any opinion expressed in a public forum be construed as the opinion or policy of the school administration, unless attributed.

HoofbeatStaff Editors

Morgan Fliss

Bailey Illig



Richard Daley

Hailey Kroll

sports editor

Emma Diehl

ent. editor

Ostina Myrtil

feature editor social media manager

Reporters Davis Burnette Luke Cartiglia Riley Curie Isa Desiante

Savannah Henslee

news editor

business manager

Emma Rogers

Ashley Hoskins

Hayley Fliss

Maddi Smyth

Laynie Mazur

Valerie Farrar

lifestyles editor opinions editor

Gracie Glover

back page editor

Susan McNulty adviser

Tori Marjan Jelayna Vasquez Avery Weber

Trust me, I’m a (wanna-be) doctor

Students particpate in the HOSA Regional competition to test their knowledge on different aspects of the medical field Isa Desiante staff reporter Looking to further her medical education, Isabella Mendez (’20) prepared to test her knowledge at the Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) Regional competition. HOSA Regionals is designed for club members to come together and compete against different schools in medical events they are interested in. This opportunity allowed Mendez to gain leadership skills and bond with the other members of HOSA, along with expanding her experience in Medical

Terminology. Being a member of the Medical Academy since sophomore year, Mendez chose to compete with the Medical Terminology test because of her preparation. After taking the Medical Terminology course from Pasco Hernando State College (PHSC) last year and enrolling in four medical classes this year, her knowledge and experience in this field allowed her to choose this test at HOSA Regionals. “Aside from all of the learning, attending HOSA competitions also allows you to have more leadership experience, which you can use towards other clubs, such as NHS, as well as job applications,” Mendez said.

Competing in the same day and then get to hang out category, Sydney Lehman (’20) at the competition on February learned study tips to increase 1st. HOSA Regionals has food her chance of trucks, guest qualifying for speakers, the statewide and the This competition competition opportunity offered me the for the Medical to get Terminology opportunity to further certifications,” test. These said. my experience in the Lehman tips include Pursuing medical field. medical a different definitions and medical Isabella abbreviations, route, Abigael and having the Villafuerte (’20) knowledge of competed in random words the Behavioral that may not Health be on the test. category, which is a career about “Since I’m taking a test, I will psychology. Villafuerte enrolled take it at school on a different in AP Psychology last year to

Mendez (‘20)

expand her knowledge in this field of medicine and help reach her goal to compete at HOSA Regionals. “It’s going to be my first year competing and I’m super excited! I can’t wait to meet new people. Through a lot of hard work and motivation, I was able to reach this point in HOSA,” Villafuerte said. HOSA Regionals is an opportunity for students to expand their knowledge and compete against others who pursue the same career. If you want to learn more about the medical field, visit Ms. Beth Bruegger (FAC) in room 717 for a HOSA application.

New bus loop Stars take on the field Construction of new bus loop will reduce traffic

The cast of “Greatest Coach of All Time” film on the Mitchell football field

Avery Weber

Hayley Fliss

staff reporter Ever since the school opened in 2001, the bus loop has been located northeast of the football stadium, between the high school and Seven Springs Middle School. This year, however, based on traffic studies over the past two years, the district is constructing a new bus loop to help decrease traffic for students and teachers going to and from the school. “Because there are so many students at both schools with horrible traffic in the morning and afternoon, [the district] has been looking at ways to calm the traffic down. One of the ways they thought they could do that was to move the bus loop,” Ms. Jessica Schultz (FAC) said. The new bus loop will be in the back of the school behind the football stadium, constructed south of Seven Springs, and west of the stadium. In addition, about fifty new parking spots will become available for both Mitchell and Seven Springs students and staff. Due to this addition, more students will be

able to park on campus, which will reduce the waiting list. “The parking lot will also become the new car loop. No students will be dropped off or picked up in the orange lot. It will hopefully reduce traffic in green, orange, and purple,” Schultz said. With the creation of the new bus loop, additional rules will be put in place to help regulate the new traffic flow. The relocation of the loop will also affect how students that ride the bus get to and from their classes. “I don’t like it. Yes, it will allow more people to park their cars, but now I have to walk farther to get to my classes. The bus loop is in the optimal spot now because it is in between the two schools,” Victoria Redinger (‘21) said. The ultimate goal of the construction of the bus loop is to reduce traffic going to and from Mitchell High School and Seven Springs Middle School. The loop’s estimated completion date is March, but it is possible that it will not be finished until next school year.

lifestyles editor On a chilly afternoon in January, selected students arrived on the track for their big break: the chance to be extras in an upcoming movie, “The Greatest Coach of All Time.” The movie is about a talented high school football player who has a major setback and spends his time trying to plan his future focusing around football. It features current Mitchell student Tyler Huth and former superman actor Dean Cain. According to screenwriter and director Darren Taylor, the inspiration behind the movie is about “finding your comeback in the midst of getting news where the world tells you that you aren’t good enough.” Students like Catherine Miller (‘22), were featured in scenes shot at the Mitchell football field, on Jan. 8 where they had to react

Photo provided by Darren Taylor

Former Mitchell student Tyler Huth and filmmaker Tim Searfoss take a break from working on their feature film in the Mitchell football stands.

as if certain plays were made. “We were the crowd at a football game and acting as the Stang Gang would be, but without an official name. We would sit up in the stands and they would tell us how we were to react. [For example], they told us that there was a big play or the team scored a touchdown and told us to react how we would react in an actual football game. There was a lot of screaming and clapping. I guess something happened to the main character, so we had to act really shocked,” Miller said. The cast filmed around the Tampa Bay area, including J.W Mitchell. Huth, one of the lead actors, is a professional TV/film actor and does his schoolwork online. The first assistant director knew principal Ms. Jessica Schultz (FAC) and reached out to her for the approval to film. “We have had excellent support with friends and family connecting with each other and being a part of something bigger than us. Our world today has many ways to communicate and networking is very important, especially with social media. It’s important to keep the people who believe in you and are close to you in good standing,” Taylor said. With the opportunity to film as extras, students who participated will be able to themselves during multiple scenes throughout the movie when it airs.


Photo provided by Darren Taylor

Photo provided by Darren Taylor

Photo provided by Darren Taylor Ms. Jessica Schultz (FAC) with actor Dean Cain in between takes of “The Greatest Coach of All Time.”



Boutique Nails

(727) 376-5323 datlan2410@gmail.com 9945 Trinity Blvd STE #104 Trinity, Florida 34655




With so many

choices, what do I take?

A question and answer with Ms. Kelly McPherson (FAC), about how to chose the elective that’s best for you and your needs

Q: Where is a great place to start when trying to pick an elective? A: The website is a great place to start! A lot of the stuff can be answered through the course directory that is offered on the website. Over the years, we’ve collected all the information on every single course we offer. We have what every course is about, what it counts towards in terms of graduation, and how many credits it is. Q: Why is it important to do research before picking an elective? A: Sometimes kids would look at the title of a course and just say that they think this would be a good fit for them, but they don’t actually realize what it means, and then they find out it didn’t meet a requirement that they needed to meet. Q: What do I do if I still have questions? A: Communicate with your teachers, counselors, and assistant principals or talk to the teacher that teaches the course. Asking students that already took the class can also be extremely

helpful because they can tell you what to expect. Q: What do I do if a teacher, counselor, or administrator is not available? A: Ms. Michele Chamberlin (FAC) is our college and career coach and she’s very helpful, especially when it comes to how certain electives might look on your college transcript. Visit Ms. Chamberlin in room 617. Q: Why is it important to self advocate? A: When it gets time to go to college, there’s a lot less support in picking classes and electives. So, the good thing is that we’re here for you now and we answer questions now. However, we want you to develop those questions so were not just running around telling you things that you’ve heard thirty times. We want you to think about what it is you specifically need and then ask us. We are always available to help. Q: How can you change electives after course cards are due? A: Up until the end of the school

year, you can still reach out to your counselors. We do lock them down and start building the master schedule in April, so we really like to know changes around March. However, it has to be a good reason at that point because we’ve given you a month to think about it. Q: Are all electives helpful to prepare students for college and help them evolve during high school? A: I think all electives are helpful in helping you become an allaround better student. Some kids go college, some go directly to a career and some go technical school, so we try to offer a wide variety of electives that are going to feed into all three. If we only do college electives we’re going to miss out a big portion of our kids. Q: Who is my counselor?

Freshmen- Mr. Crouch, Green Sophomores- Ms. Ruconich, Orange Juniors- Ms. Joustra, Blue Seniors- Ms. Gaidosh, Red

To the right, are all the electives offered to students for the 2020-21 school year.


Art • 2D Art 1, 2, 3 Honors • Portfolio Development: 2D, 3D, or Drawing Design Honors • 3D Art 1, 2, 3 Honors • AP Art History • Art History and Criticism Honors • DE Art Appreciation (0.5 cr)


• Digital Information Technology • Digital Design 1, 2 • Digital Cinema Productions 1, 2, 3, 4 • TV Production Technology • Accounting Applications Honors • Business Entrepreneurship Principles Honors • Foundations of Programming • AP Computer Science A • AP Computer Science Principles


• AP Capstone: Seminar and Research • Creative Writing 1, 2, 3 (0.5 cr) Career Research and Decision Making (0.5 cr) and Critical Thinking and Study Skills (0.5 cr) • DE Public Speaking (0.5 cr) • Journalism 1, Yearbook or Newspaper


• Medical Skills • Health Science A&P (10th grade) • Health Science Foundations (11th grade) • EMR 2-Block (12th only) • Nursing 3- Block (12th only)

All State brings out the best

• Band 1-6 Honors • Chorus 1-4 • Eurhythmics/ Colorguard 1-4 • Jazz Ensemble 1-4 Honors • Keyboarding/ Piano 1-3 • Orchestra 1, 2, 5, 6 • AP Music Theory

Social Studies

• Holocaust Honors (0.5 cr) • Law Studies (0.5 cr) • Psychology 1 and 2 (0.5 cr) • Sociology (0.5 cr) • World Cultural Geography • AP Human Geography • AP Psychology • Personal Financial Literacy (0.5 cr)

Foreign Language • Spanish 1, 2, 3 Honors, 4 Honors • AP Spanish Language • AP Spanish Literature

Physical Education

• Health Opportunities through Physical Education HOPE • Individual/Duel Sports (0.5 cr) • Team Sports (0.5 cr) • Volleyball (0.5 cr) • Weight/ Power Weight Training (0.5 cr)


• Naval Sciences 1-4 • First Aid and Safety (0.5 cr) • Leadership Skills Development (11th-12th grade) • DE Individual Discovery (0.5 cr) • DE College Success Skills (0.5 cr)

of the best

Band students, Sophia Colon (‘20), John Habib (‘22), Abigail Herbage (‘23) and Skylar Pearson (‘22), performed at All State Laynie Mazur staff reporter

On Sept. 21, band students across the state kicked off the school year by auditioning for the All County and All State concerts. Students Sophia Colon (‘20), John Habib (‘22), Abigail Herbage (‘23), and Skylar Pearson (‘22) waited until Nov. 1 to learn of their acceptance into All State and they performed at the Tampa Convention Center on Jan. 11. Playing percussion,

Colon made it through the audition even with major setbacks. “I first tried out for all state in eighth grade, and I remember coming out crying, so it was really hard for the past few years but I finally reached the determination to make All State. This year, I broke my ankle two days before auditions. I just didn’t let those things bring me down,” Colon said. Also a percussionist, Pearson

Photo provided by Sophia Colon Herbage, Habib, Colon, and Pearson pose after finding out they were accepted to All State back in November.

found struggles in the day-to-day practice of music. “When I’m playing the same music constantly I get sick of it and it’s hard to keep up with playing every day since it’s so repetitive. But I don’t know how I could get through my life without band; I feel like I’m doing something productive with my life,” Pearson said. During the All State performance, the students played alongside the top performers at the high school level from all of Florida. Herbage practiced for two hours every day outside of school in preparation for the audition. Herbage smiled while thinking back to the concert. “It was really fun. I think that we all really performed our best,” Herbage said. Playing music for roughly four years, Habib achieved All State while juggling honors and AP classes as well as playing wide receiver and corner on the football team. “It’s hard to find room to breathe. But band has made me

more confident. It’s made me have to work really hard to get where I want to be,” Habib said. Performing for the second time at All State, Colon and Habib have found benefits in always practicing. “I usually stay after school every day to practice until I reach my goals and I have instruments at home so I can practice outside of school too. I also take lessons with a professor at USF. Practice has really helped me a lot,” Colon said. Playing in the All State Symphonic Band, Herbage, Colon, and Habib played four pieces to the audience in the ballroom at the convention center on a stage filled with the top students from Florida. Pearson played percussion for the All State Orchestra Band later that day. “It was a great experience. It’s sad that not everyone gets to do it all because of one audition but if you have the chance to do All State you really should take it,” Pearson said.


Photo provided by Sophia Colon Herbage, Habib, and Colon smile with Mr. Ryan Harring (FAC) and Mr. Joel Quina (FAC) after their concert .

All County Below are how many students from MHS made it to All County

1 String Bass 2 Bassoon 2 Oboe 3 Tuba 3 Euphonium 4 Trombone 4 French Horn 4 Flute 4 Saxophone 5 Percussion 5 Trumpet 10 Clarinet HOOFBEAT


Tips for being single Who’s your valentine? on Valentine's Day


Here are your Valentine’s Day predictions according to floweraura.com You are too confident to stay single on Valentine’s Day.

Ashley Hoskins staff reporter



“I definitely recommend when being single on Valentine’s Day, surround yourself with friends that are going to make you happy and put your mind off of relationships. Whenever I’m with my friends on Valentine’s Day, I always try to do something fun with them like having a girls night.”



Sofia Chianella (‘23) Cancer


“I like to spend Valentine’s Day appreciating the great people I already have in my life [because] it’s a lot less stressful than worrying about a relationship. Just be kind, be yourself, and the right person will come eventually.”

Timothy Jones (‘21)


“I’ve spent pretty much every Valentine’s Day I can think back to with some sort of “valentine”, but for senior year, it’s going to be me and my girls! I don’t think it is as sad as people think. Valentine’s Day is [made] to show people you care about them and you can care about more people than a significant other. You can do plenty to keep yourself occupied on Valentine’s Day. For example, get dressed up and go to a cute restaurant with a group of friends. Go out with friends and have fun with each other! You just have to make the most out of it.”

Emmersyn Chefero (‘20)




Leo If you have a Valentine you prefer to express feelings through quality time.

Virgo You want an adventurous day due to your wild side but you’re also trustworthy and loyal. If you spend the day with someone, it will be spent low-key with someone very close to your heart.

You will have a generous and caring nature, so you’d receive something special in return.

Focus is into school and family, so Valentine’s Day seems like an average day for you.



If someone steps into your life, you feel the need to spoil them on because it feels you have been waiting for them forever. Since everyday is special, you are likely to plan something cute and romantic on Valentine’s Day.

You are likely to surprise your significant other, or be surprised by them!




When you find your person, you’ll know upon meeting them with desire an adventurous date this Valentine’s Day.

You are a passionate and loyal sign. Your romantic personality will play a role in making Valentine’s Day feel perfect.

You are a hopeless romantic and your partner will plan something perfect to satisfy your romantic dreams.



NJROTC cadets celebrate their accomplishments at the Navy Ball Jelayna Vasquez staff reporter On Friday, Jan. 17, cadets from all levels of Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) gathered at Spartan Manor for the annual Navy Ball to dance and connect with everyone in the unit. “The best part about the Navy Ball is when everyone starts to dance. It’s a really good way to bring all grade levels to the same place, because ROTC doesn’t have one big friend group, so at the ball we’re all one, which is really nice because we all get to hang out with each other and you get to see each grade level out on the dance floor,” Logan Stephens (‘20) said. Similar to homecoming, the Navy Ball has a court, except there is one female and one male from each Naval Science level. Naval Science 1 (NS1) students are crowned lord and lady: Xavier Tavernaro (‘23) and Alyssia Luna (‘22), NS2 students are duke and duchess: Samantha Cragle (‘22) and Jason Richardson (‘22), NS3 are prince and princess: Larry Legg (‘21) and Sarah Logan (‘21), and king and queen are NS4. This year’s king and queen were Stephens

and Alexys Ferrantelli (‘20). “The Navy Ball is part of the reason we get a distinguished unit each year. A part of our score that earns us that title is the events we hold and our participation in Photo by Jelayna Vasquez them, so we hold it to not only have a fun night where you get to dress up with your teammates and let loose, but it helps us to maintain our title as a distinguished unit,” Pearl Torres (‘21) said. Photo by Jelayna Vasquez

Photo by Jelayna Vasquez

King and Queen (Stephens and Ferrantelli) and Lord and Lady (Legg and Logan) were congratulated by their peers. Gunnery Sergeant Freddie Jones United States Marine Corps retire, Commander Steven Okun United States Navy retire and Chief Petty Officer Dana Saunders United States Coast Guard retire pose proudly at the ball.

Heroes saving lives one pint at a time

Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) organized multiple blood drives with OneBlood, starting back on Jan. 16 Valerie Farrar news editor After turning sixteen this year, Alexa Green (‘22) donated blood during the blood drive organized by Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA). “I had a great experience because all the nurses were very nice and welcoming. They talked me through everything so I felt comfortable. I was excited but nervous before, but after, I felt empowered that I could do something that could help someone,” Green said. Alannah D’Avila (‘21), a historian in HOSA, helps the other officers organize blood drives through OneBlood. OneBlood is a non-profit organization responsible for

collecting blood donations and supplying safe, affordable blood to their hospital partners throughout Florida. “We try to get people involved by giving incentives to people who donate. Like at our last blood drive, they received a shirt through OneBlood, a free Chickfil-a meal card, and an included wellness check. A couple weeks later, the wellness check results tell you what you’re low on and your blood type, like maybe you’re low on iron and it will recommend you to start taking certain vitamins. We also provide them with a bunch of food, like snacks and sandwiches, the day of the blood drive. I help make the PB and J sandwiches because you have to eat before you give blood and many

students haven’t,” D’Avila said. Abigail Stokes (‘20), another historian in HOSA, focuses on encouraging members of the club to get involved. “I help organize all the students in HOSA that participate in the blood drive, so we just keep a head count of who participates at lunch. It counts as an event for the club, so it gives members the incentive to sign up so they get their participation for the club. We also try to promote the students to sign up for the blood drive because donating blood saves lives. Every pint of blood saves up to three lives. That really shows the effect of how just a small amount of blood can have a huge benefit,” Stokes said. The next blood drive hosted by

HOSA is in April. To be eligible to donate, you must be age 16 or older and weigh at least 110 pounds. If you are 16, your parent must fill out a parental consent form. If interested in donating, sign up during your lunch period two days before the next blood drive by visiting the HOSA table. You can also find a HOSA officer walking around the cafeteria during lunch.

Photo by Valerie Farrar Before donating blood, Alexa Green (‘22) gets her blood pressure taken by a nurse working on the OneBlood bus. The bus was parked in the bus loop all morning and afternoon, allowing eligible students to come donate blood when they were available throughout the day.

Photo by Riley Curie

What can go wrong, might go wrong

Sharing past Valentine’s Day fail stories ending in mother-daughter valentines, broken-hearts, and embarrassment in the hall Emma Rogers business manager In 2017, holding a paper heart and a flower made of pipe cleaners, eighth-grader, Jada Rodriguez (‘22) walked down the hallway of her middle school to give the present to her boyfriend. Turning the corner, Rodriguez found him making out with one of her guy friends. This turn of events led her to ask her mother to be her valentine. “Afterwards, I just focused on myself. Honestly this situation, in

a weird way, helped me grow as a person and realize what I like and don’t like and how I handle things emotionally. My friends are the ones who cured me. They stood by my side and helped me realize guys aren’t the only thing in this world to care about,” Rodriguez said. Valentine’s Day comes with the ups and downs of possible rejection and spending quality time with those who you love. Those too scared to give a Valentine’s Day gift to the person they like and instead ask a friend

to be a messenger should adhere for me. I thought he knew who to a warning she was, but from Connor apparently, McFadyen’s (‘21) the He ended up giving it mistake of having description to the wrong person. his gift go to the I gave was The thing, is I knew wrong girl. too vague. the girl he mistakenly “Back in middle He ended gave it to. school, I liked this up giving it girl, and I wanted to the wrong to give her a person. The present. I didn’t thing is I have a class with knew the girl her until the end he mistakenly of the day, so I gave it to. gave it to a friend to give to her She liked me, but I didn’t like

Connor McFadyen (‘21)

her. I had to explain that the gift wasn’t for her and that I liked the girl that was across the classroom, not her. This was the first time I had gotten slapped in the face,” McFadyen said. On Valentine’s Day, anything that can go wrong might go wrong. “Remember that being rejected is not the end of the world. One day, someone will be meant for you, so keep your head up and keep being you,” Rodriguez said.

AP Seminar students strive for a five

Ms. Beth Seletos (FAC) and students start the six-part process to their AP and End-of-Course exams that begin in the spring Gracie Glover backpage editor With second semester starting, AP Seminar students are already hard at work on their AP exam. Seminar students partake in both an End-of-Course exam and an AP exam. To prepare for the AP exam, students must complete two tasks. The two performance tasks added with the End-ofCourse exam determine the overall score that students receive from College Board in July.

Known to say, “Minutes are like money, spend them wisely,” the AP Seminar teacher, Ms. Beth Seletos (FAC) advises students to work smarter, not harder. She wants her students to list their expectations and make a plan to achieve them, but to make sure that both are reasonable and realistic. “[The AP exam] takes all year. The skills must be slowly acquired and perfected over the course of the class in order for students to ‘own’ the skills and be able to demonstrate them

in the performance tasks and on demand when the EOC is administered,” Ms. Seletos said. To prepare for the exam, students needed to pick a topic in December that interests them enough that they will stick with it. Researching their topic for multiple months, they must quickly learn how to format it while gathering thorough information. “I am preparing for the final exam for Seminar by practicing, and getting exposure to the rubrics. I also practice public

speaking consistently to make sure I am comfortable. An important thing to keep in mind as the exam approaches is to stay focused and just stay confident in my ability and not to doubt myself,” Gianna Perugini (‘22) said. College Board designed the program specifically to be foundational to all other AP classes. The program’s main goal is to teach students how to be a proper college student. Seminar is always seeking out students to include in the program for the


following year. “This class is unlike any other you have taken. It is taught in a true college atmosphere, where lessons are student-centered in a workshop format. There is very little homework and a whole lot of cooperative learning. Students will acquire skills in Capstone that are applicable to every other class on campus. If you want to pursue real-world, relevant topics that interest you in an atmosphere that fosters your learning, then Capstone is for you,” Ms. Seletos said.



Helpful tips for this Valentine's Day Important things to keep in mind when talking and trying to go on a date with someone you are interested in


Evan Zehm ('23)

On the first date, I would take a girl to the movies. On the second date, I would take a girl to a nice dinner and get her a gift.


A date should be more intimate, so it feels like you should make an effort. First dates are usually good when it’s just two people, but don’t have a date at your house because its awkward if you don’t really know the parents.

Elizabeth McDonald ('22)

You should not chew with your mouth open, I just think they should not do that if they go out to dinner with you. But also if they’re really loud in public and they don’t speak a normal volume that kind of ruins the date, too.



should bring flowers for Do the girl and ofYou course be a gentlemen. Be

spontaneous and make sure you make it relaxed and focused on the girl and treat the girl like a princess.

Tiffany Cain ('21) I wouldn’t go on a group with a lot of people, because if you’re trying to do something special with someone it’s really awkward to have a bunch of people with you.


Kiara Muniz ('20)

Clint Spiars ('22)

You shouldn’t be overly nervous. Even though Valentine’s Day is a date night it’s different from the rest. Being late or dirty is not the move; your date deserves the best.

You should take someone somewhere like the movies or the mall. The man should always be a gentleman. The man should always get the lady something nice. The man should make the lady feel loved and appreciated on the date at all times.


Gabriella Meyers ('23)

Shawn Flavin ('23)

On a date you should see what you and your girl have in common. On a date, you should be very polite to your girl and pay for the meal.

Alex Shubianok ('23)

Carroll Ann Krovich ('20)



I’d probably get them something like a small gift and talk about them more than you talk about yourself, but I generally try to do that anyway.

Do's and of da

Richard Daley sports editor With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, students feel tempted to talk to their crush and get to know them. Before you can be comfortable talking to someone who you have a romantic interest in, it is important to possess a sense of self-identity. “I think you should talk to your crush when you’re comfortable and you know that you’re in a good place yourself. You don’t want to be not in a good place and depending on happiness from someone else,” Carroll Ann Krovich (‘20) said. Talking to someone who you have feelings for can be a very nerve-racking experience. If you get nervous easily, it is important to decompress and stay calm when you talk to your crush.


“I always just remember that both people a platform to speak the most important thing is to freely. be myself and to not take the “Just think of your crush as conversation too seriously. It’s a regular human being and just important that they get to realize that you’re only talking know me. Sometimes I’ll send to another person. Keep it chill. my crush memes on Instagram Find a common interest like so they get a favorite an idea of TV show my sense of or hobby I think you should talk to humor and to because help start a then you’ll your crush when you’re conversation,” always have comfortable and you Olivia Dysert something to know that you’re in a (‘22) said. talk about. It Another also makes it good place yourself. important easier to talk thing to keep to them later Carroll Ann in mind when on too,” Axel you decide to Deraspe (‘20) speak to your said. crush is to It is also not make the situation awkward. important to realize the right Getting to know the person you time to make an advancement are interested in makes talking with someone who you have a to them less stressful and gives crush on.

unprepared. By getting to know your crush better as a person and keeping things casual, it is easier to talk to them and eventually know when the time is right to show how you feel. “I’m so glad that I spoke to my crush because we’re both very happy and are making great, great memories. It just goes to show that sometimes taking risks pays off,” Deraspe said.

Have you ever gone out of your way to talk to your crush? According to a Twitter poll conducted from Jan. 28 to Jan. 30

Krovich (‘20)

78 percent said yes

Have you ever been on a date that has gone bad?

Alexandra Jason ('20)

According to a Twitter poll conducted from Jan. 28 to Jan. 30

Definitely don’t be distracted by anything or if something happened that day and your not in the mood, don’t force it. If you have to ask to move Valentine’s Day to a few days later or something where you know you can actually have a fun time with the other person. Just don’t go on a date when you are in a bad mood.

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“I think it depends on the situation. If you were friends before you started dating you probably knew each other pretty well, but if you just met them maybe take a month to get to know them or take however long you need to feel like you know them,” Krovich said. What it boils down to is talking to your crush is a very real, very stressful experience if you are



Yes, I have


No, I have not

Megan Reinert ('20)

Something I wouldn’t do on a Valentine’s date is put pressure on yourself or the other person involved. As I’ve heard from people that I look up to, if it’s meant to be it’ll be and there shouldn’t be pressure for anything else to happen.



First eat a piece of mentos mint gum then meet up with the person if you have a car, pick her up and make it romantic it doesn’t have to be super fancy, but you have to at least try. You should buy her flowers or something nice like that.

Matthew Benjamin ('21)

Honestly I feel like Valentine’s Day you should just spend time with whoever you are dating because I think valuable time is honestly the best for both people. You don’t necessarily have to go somewhere expensive.


William Cavanagh ('22)

Ava Cornett ('23)

No, do not bring a girl to a family gathering on a first date. That is kind of awkward for her, not going to lie.

Kellie Daley ('22) You should not talk about yourself the whole time or be late. And you definitely should not do something cheesy like going to the movies. Valentine’s Day is a special day and it should be fun and romantic.


Ethan Phelps ('20) You should always open every Do door, including the car door. Make it about her and be yourself. Maybe get her a gift.

Last chance! Yearbooks $85 until Feb. 29, 2020 Cash, check, card paid on ACORN or to room 517

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Cheering to Nationals Kickin’ it up The varsity cheerleading squad finished third in their state competition and qualified to Nationals that took place in Orlando starting on Feb. 5 Valerie Farrar news editor When the varsity cheer team placed third at Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) Regionals on Jan. 18, the athletes earned their invitation to compete at Nationals. After competing at the UCA National High School Cheerleading Championship (NHSCC) for the past two years with the varsity team, and placing in the top ten both times, Karina Frey (‘20) earned her role as a captain. “Being captain on the team has definitely been an amazing opportunity despite some difficulty at times. Sometimes it can be hard rallying 30 teenage girls to listen to you or stay on task at every practice. Being a leader has definitely helped me tremendously. I used to have to sit back and be quiet [while] listening to instruction, and now I have finally worked my way up to be the senior giving advice and encouragement to my peers for

them to be their absolute best for when their time comes. I love being able to teach and lead my teams,” Frey said. Frey’s priority as captain is helping her team improve after every competition. Cheerleaders like Hailee Byrne (‘21), work as a team to refine their routine in the three weeks between Regionals and Nationals. “Before nationals, we need to be consistent in performing our best routine each time we take the mat. We will improve our performance by adding extra practices and focusing on specific areas in our routine that need improvement. Leading up to a competition, our practices are longer, more intense, and more frequent,” Byrne said. UCA Nationals took place from Feb. 7 to Feb. 9 at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. Isabella Richko (‘21), another varsity cheerleader, views Nationals not just as an opportunity to compete, but also to bond as a team. “For nationals, we are staying

in a house in Orlando as a team. I think it’s going to be so much fun because it will end our season off on a good note. We will have the whole weekend to bond even more and we are in Disney, which makes the whole competition so much better,” Richko said. The varsity cheer squad placed third at their state competition at University of Florida in Gainesville. The national competition was held in Orlando at the Walt Disney World Resort a few weeks later.

Photo provided by JWMHS Twitter

Got to pin it to win it

The wrestling team pins their opponents to the mat, and works together to win three of their matches against other schools in the district so far Savanah Henslee staff reporter

With three wins as of Jan. 31 this season, the wrestling team works together to improve upon their weaknesses. Cameron Mills (‘20) joined the team his freshman year, with a background in mixed martial arts. He used these skills to improve throughout his four years that he competed on the team. “I’ve been doing mixed martial arts for almost my entire life, so when I got to high school I decided to give [wrestling] a try. [It is so cool when] not only do you see change in yourself, but others too, both physically and mentally.

It’s amazing to have teammates who look up to you not only because you’re skilled, but as someone they can trust,” Mills said. The team practices in the gym after school every day to gain the technique and strength needed to win their matches. Coach Jacob Crouch (FAC) admires the hard work and bravery that every team member portrays in both practices and matches. “Boys and girls are on the same team and wrestle whoever is at their weight. My girls are often my bravest wrestlers. Not because they are fearless, but because they face their fears

I enjoy showing people [that] even though I’m a girl, I can still take care of myself. Faith

Mitchell (‘20)

against superior odds most of the time,” Crouch said. Faith Mitchell (‘20), who has been on the wrestling team for two years now, is one of only two girls on the team. In her time wrestling this season, she has won a total of four matches as of Jan. 31. “I enjoy showing people [that] even though I’m a girl, I can still take care of myself,” Mitchell said. Alyssa Johnson (‘22) is one of the newest members on the team and joined to get involved in something new. “I thought it would help me stay active and I thought it was something not many girls do and I wanted to be different,” Johnson said. Although an individual sport, each member works with each other to bring the team to victory. Come support the wrestling team at their district meet on Feb. 22 at 9 a.m. at Lecanto High School.

Girls varsity soccer worked as a team to overcome the loss of their senior players and make it into the playoffs during the 2020 season Riley Curie staff reporter As the moon shone down on Monday night, Jan. 13, the varsity girls’ soccer team defended their goal against East Lake High School. They made their way down the side of the field as the team yelled out to each other. Surrounded by opposing players, Maya Agren (’22) attempted to score the first point for Mitchell. At the start of the season, the team set a goal for themselves to make it to districts. Team captain, Destiny Sanchez (’21), leads her team through practices and games in hopes of improving their performance. “I talk a lot on the field shifting the team from side to side, when to step and when to drop. Our team had the goal to work [together] and keep everyone’s heads up. As a captain, I like to make sure everyone knows it’s OK to make mistakes,” Sanchez said. There were some obstacles the team had to overcome at the beginning of the season, as the seniors that left last year were the starters. As her first year on varsity, Natalie Ramirez (’22) had to get used to a new team going through its own changes. “We had to learn how each other played. It was definitely a new team because all of our seniors left so it was really different for us,” Ramirez said. On Jan. 30, the team record was seven wins and six losses. Mercedes Solis (’22) works with her team at practices through drills to help improve the way they play. The team plays

scrimmages at practices that force them to communicate and come together. “The season is going pretty alright. We lost a lot of players so we are working on getting back into the groove with everybody on the team. We do a lot of talking and moving on the field and get to know each other better off the field,” Solis said. Agren scored both of the points for the team on Jan. 13. The team beat East Lake High School with a final score of 2-1. Throughout the season the team worked together to overcome the changes of the roster to make it to the playoff season and to districts. The varisty girls soccer season ended on Feb. 5 after a loss against Wiregrass Ranch.

Photo by Riley Curie Lauren Poll (’20) makes her way down the field in a game against East Lake High School. Poll tore her ACL and meniscus back in September while playing soccer. “I wear the brace for every single game to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I try to keep my body healthy in order to stay safe,” Poll said.

Photo by Riley Curie Kicking the ball forward, Morgan Weldon (’20) helps her team earn a win against East Lake High School. Weldon stays motivated during games through support from her teammates. “My team pushes me to be better and are always there for me. We encourage each other and that pushes me forward throughout the season,” Weldon said.




Getting back into the soccer groove The boys varsity soccer team uses advice from the previous champions to set goals and work together for an improved year Jelayna Vasquez staff reporter On Jan. 9, a stalemate formed at a home game between the boys varsity soccer team and their opponent, Cypress Creek. This lasted until the striker, Aidan Meyer (‘21), scored the only goal of the night, and secured a win for the team. The boys on the team have played together on club soccer teams such as Florida Premier, Tampa United, and Clearwater Chargers. This team chemistry allows for practices to be spent working on their strengths and

weaknesses. “During practice we start out with stretching, then we do combination drills or shooting exercises to improve on finishing and scoring more goals. Then we do short-side base games, set pieces, penalty kicks and then cool down,” Paul Surkov (’22) said. Before the Cypress Creek game, the champions from ten years ago paid a visit to the team. The champions gave the team advice intended to help them now and in the future. They told the team not to take soccer for granted, which Tyler Williams

(‘20) found especially important, since this is his fourth year on the team. “The previous champs gave us advice on college and soccer in college, which was really good for kids like us who want to go into college soccer. So they just answered our questions about that, and told us to play every high school game like it’s our last,” Williams said. The team lost graduates from last year, but they strive to win games together with the leadership skills of Justin Fisher (‘21), who has been a goalie since the age of ten.

“On the field as a goalie you have to remain focused at all times and be prepared for anything that can come your way. Other than defending, I communicate with the whole team and I’m able to organize everyone to keep them in their positions and often times I start the counter attack,” Fisher said. With rigorous practice, the team completes their goal of finishing and getting the ball into the net, shown in their record of 13 wins and four losses and 52 goals this season as of Feb. 1.

Team Statistics

Goals Per Match

Assists Per Match

2.3 2.4


380 Goals Against Average

Saves Per Match Goals

0.682 4.5 51

Statistics as of Feb 1. provided by MaxPreps

Super Bowl hot takes by die hard fans I’m very excited to see the

a long struggle. It’s a great feeling to know that this year is finally our year.

I think its a big confidence boost for the players and the are able fans that the to compete at the very top this year.

Myles Medina (‘20)

Leonid Alexeyev (‘22)

Chiefs get to this level after



31-20 Photoby byRichard RichardDaley Daley Photo

Photo by Richard Daley

Setting the bar high The boys weightlifting began their season at a home meet against RRHS Luke Cartiglia staff reporter On Feb. 12, the boys weightlifting team started their new season at home against River Ridge. The team strives for success by pushing themselves to their limits and always keeping a positive attitude in order to overcome adversity. When Nicholas Voyer (‘20) faced ineligibility in football for academic reasons his freshman and sophomore year, he decided to join the weightlifting team spring of his sophomore year when his grades improved. “I was ineligible my freshman



and part of my sophomore year. I wasn’t able to play football. I was only able to lift. Because of lifting when I was ineligible, it really helped me out for the weightlifting team. My teammates were behind me every step of the way. I worked super hard to get where I am today and I am super happy,” Voyer said. Another obstacle faced by Sean Orso (‘20) were the challenges of cutting weight. Cutting weight is when athletes lose weight fast prior to a meet in order to fit a weight class; the lowest weight class is the 119 weight class. In the 119


weight class, the two-time state champion graduated from Sunlake High School last year. “I’m in the lowest weight class you can possibly be in. My teammates would help me push through the heavy weights so I can get the strength back and they hype me up so I know I can get back physically and mentally,” Orso said. The team’s support system allows individual athletes to feel confident and determined despite facing various challenges throughout the season. “It’s just me versus the barbell and it doesn’t matter who else is around me because I know I am

Photo by Richard Daley Sean Orso (‘20) controls his breathing as he holds the bar, preparing to raise it up above his body. In the lead up to the weightlifting season, athletes train tirelessly to improve their strength and be prepared for the rigors that await them during the season.

going to beat them,” Orso said. This group of guys works hard whether it’s at a meet or doing something as simple as going to the gym and working on their

craft. They always devote their full attention to what they do and stick together while doing it. Their next meet is Feb. 19 at Gulf High School.

Basketball is his life, the rest is details New player Khamari Smith (’21) and his love for basketball allowed him to evolve as an athlete to achieve recognition Ostina Myrtil social media manager

Khamari Smith (‘21)

The boys varsity basketball team welcomed Khamari Smith to the team for the 2020 season. Smith is originally from Montgomery, Alabama and attended G.W. Carver Senior High School but moved to Florida mid-summer. Since his transfer, his performance on the court made his name spread across the school. “I moved because I want to be a D1 player in college and hope to make it to the big leagues, and Florida has better chances of people going D1 and have better resources,” Smith said. Smith’s decision to pursue success in his fascination for basketball, which started when he was three, left him in an unfamiliar environment, quiet and closed off until the basketball season started. “Basketball made me be able to speak to everybody now. When I first came to this school I wasn’t talking to anybody,

I wasn’t getting along with anybody. But now I can just talk to everybody,” Smith said. Through 11 games, Smith achieved the rank of 48th in the state, with an average of 19.6 points per game, and 18th in the state in 3-pointers made in a single game. “Khamari is extremely athletic but very raw still. He has a lot to learn on how to play but is still really good. He’s going to be one of the best players to ever play here,” Coach Jason Vetter said. Smith’s mother convinced him Florida was the right place to be, giving him the push to leave Alabama and live with his aunt and uncle. Even though distance separates them, she still influences his choices and path. “My mother motivates me to stay on point, teaches me some of everything I need to know and motivates me as of her being a single parent to just go hard at anything I do in life,” Smith said. Vetter requires his players to meet expectations, such as attending classes, maintaining a

Photo by Ostina Myrtil As his teammates watch from the bench, Khamari Smith (‘21) protects the ball from an opposing player as he attempts to make his way down the court towards the hoop.

2.0 GPA, and always engaging in practice. These requirements benefitted Smith, allowing his academic standing to spike. “I just feel like when I came to Florida I was ready to put in work. I felt like I was on a mission because when I was staying in Alabama I really didn’t care. I wasn’t even going home some nights. But when I came to Florida, I just felt like I was on a mission to just have a D1 offer,”

Smith said. Smith continues to show up to practice every day and works at his sport, according to Vetter. He also still wants to finish school and become an entrepreneur to sell his own merchandise. Smith has been able to persevere and become an exemplary player and person. Congratulations to Khamari Smith for his selection as the Gregg Schindler February Male Athlete of the Month.

Her unforgettable basket for success

Charlotte Vari (‘20) earns recognition for excellence on the basketball court as the Gregg Schindler Athlete of the Month Maddi Smyth opinions editor Charlotte Vari (‘20) excels at both girls basketball and lacrosse, landing her the spot as the Gregg Schindler State Farm Agency February Female Athlete of the Month. On Jan. 28, she helped guide her team to a 37-35 win against Dixie Hollins High School with five points, two assists, and six rebounds. She has been invested in her athleticism from an early age and continues to enjoy sports as a part of her high school career, despite being a graduating senior this year. “Playing basketball and lacrosse relieves a lot of stress for me from school work and it’s a way to be with friends and have a good time after school,” Vari said. While using her sports as a way to relax after school, Vari still takes her career as an athlete seriously. She has been awarded Player of the Game on four different occasions across the years of her high school career, from her 2016 award for junior varsity basketball to her

three different awards for varsity lacrosse in 2018 and 2019. During her basketball career alone Vari has played 53 games, with an average of four points scored per game, 1.7 assists per game and 3.4 rebounds per game. She is also capable of an average of 2.1 steals and 0.3 blocks. Despite excellence in basketball, Vari finds herself drawn to lacrosse and wishes to continue her mounting career with it. She has played 29 games with a total of 48 goals, and an average of two goals per game. She has taken 91 total shots on a goal, with a .527 shot accuracy percentage and a .301 faceoff win percentage. “I’m actually going to college to play lacrosse. I’m going to Notre Dame College, it’s a D2 (National Collegiate Athletic Association [NCAA] Division II institution) in Ohio. I signed a scholarship with them,” Vari said. Vari’s athletic goals are her main focus, and her dedication pays off in more than the form of college scholarships. As a junior on the varsity lacrosse team, she won Best Offensive Player of the

Year award. “After school when I don’t have any sports practice, I actually go home and I go out in the yard or in the driveway and I shoot hoops or play lacrosse to better my skills,” Vari said. Vari’s flexibility as a player is one of her most valuable skills, and she uses it to her advantage. But her dedication and leadership to both teams is what makes her stand out. “I play wherever the coach puts me, but I like to help the team and just do whatever I can to help them. I am a captain for both lacrosse and basketball and it’s a big role but I enjoy it,” Vari said. Charlotte Vari is a talented person, both on and off the court, and expresses valuable capabilities as a leader and passionate teammate, resulting in her recognition as Athlete of the Month. She is a senior set to graduate, and though we will lose one valuable player, Notre Dame College is certainly lucky to gain one more MVP.

Photo by Richard Daley

I actually go home and I go out in the yard or in the driveway and I shoot hoops or play lacrosse to better my skill.


Vari (‘20)

Photo by Richard Daley




Dance for Australia wildlife

Love Playlist

Winter Ball held by Administration in order to fundraise for displaced animals after wildfire Hailey Kroll ent. editor

“It has such emotion in it and it makes me feel more open and others should hear it because it is so heartwarming and can make you feel better.” Blake Delaney (’23)

“It’s a very pure, innocent song that perfectly captures what it feels like to be in love with someone. The rush, the excitement, the dopamine high, and most of all the fact that you can’t stop thinking about them. It’s a euphoria that’s almost impossible to describe in words.” Nicholas Fernandez (’20)

Winter Ball, hosted by Administration to raise funds for Australian animals, took place in the gym on Feb. 1. Starting in 2019, fires have been burning in Australia resulting in a dangerous atmosphere for wildlife. Being a recent problem that the members of student council observed, they decided to help promote the dance helping animals and wildlife affected by the fires. Student Council Class of 2021 representative Louis Chianella (‘21) helped promote the event on social media. The fund-raiser proved to be a success because it brought more students to the dance, raising more funds for the animals in need. “The cause is really special to me because our ecosystems around the globe are so important. I think the winter ball was very successful this year. We had more people than usual which was a bonus,” Chianella said. Ariel Rine (‘22) attended the dance to grow closer with friends and support the Australia’s displaced animals. “I think that it’s great that the

proceeds are going to be donated to a good cause. Australia has gone through a lot of damage and destruction, so I think Australia is a great place to give a donation to,” Rine said. In total, 237 tickets were sold to students and a percent of the profit earned, is going to help the animals and wildlife in Australia. To stay updated on future fund-raisers, follow @JWMHS on Twitter.

Photo provided by Isabella Newton

Photo provided by Kaylianna Wellington

Photo provided by Nabil Koney-Laryea (‘20)

Concerts sweeping Florida Newly popular bands and artist Rex Orange County, Wallows, and Billie Eilish perform soon Hailey Kroll ent. editor

“My favorite love song is Lover because the lyrics are so beautiful and it’s the perfect song for Valentine’s day. It reminds people of pure love and what love is really about.” Kole Kemple (’22)

“The song tells that no matter what happens between you and someone, they still matter to you. It tells people to live every day like it’s your last because you never know if it could be. It explains that you should spend those days with people you really care about.” Lauren Sammartano (’21)



In the next few weeks, Rex Orange County, Wallows, and Billie Eilish come to the area to perform live. With his top song, “Best Friend,” being about loving someone while stuck in the friend zone, Indie pop artist Rex Orange County is appropriately playing at House of Blues in Orlando on Valentine’s Day. The rock band Wallows performs Feb. 19 at The Ritz Ybor and singer-songwriter Billie Eilish comes to Amway Center Mar. 10. Alex O’Connor, the man behind Rex Orange County is currently on his North America and United Kingdom tour. Releasing a new single, “10/10,” in September of last year led him to receive more media attention recently. After listening to Rex Orange County for three years, Kaylianna Wellington (‘21) received tickets for her 17 birthday to see him play live for the first time. “My favorite song is probably ‘Sunflower’ because it’s a good vibe and I love how happy it is. I have a lot of memories with his music, like driving to the beach with friends last summer listening to Rex. It just takes


me back to the fun memories,” Wellington to bands and artists who have a mostly said. older fan base so this concert experience Searching for new music, last summer is going to be different,” Cragle said. Samantha Cragle (‘22) came across From Billie Eilish posting her first song Wallows first single “Are You Bored “Ocean Eyes” on SoundCloud in 2014 Yet?” Upon finding the song interesting, to winning five Grammys in 2020, she she searched for more by the band and continues her “Where Do We Go” world discovered she enjoys their music. Not tour. She won: Best New Artist, Album, alone in this discovery, the song, released Song, Record, and Pop Vocal Album. in early 2019, Stopping in Orlando, shot to be Eilish performs in their number March while Noah one song. The Dibattista (‘20) stands My friends and I will put song remains in the crowd. He hopes number one the show exceeds their music on in the car and despite two expectations set by sing along to every song at previous the previous show he the top of our lungs, so I’m EPs and attended with his sister their recent last June. really excited to see them in album release “I’ve been to a Billie concert. “Nothing concert before. My Happens.” mom surprised us and “My friends took us to Atlanta for it and I will put and it was a lot of fun. their music on She connected with the in the, car and audience and was really sing along funny,” Dibattista said. to every song at the top of our lungs, so Although Billie Eilish already sold I’m really excited to see them in concert. I out, last minute tickets to the other two love going to concerts. I have been to so concerts are available on Ticketmaster. many, but I feel like the age group at this com. Ticket prices are approximately concert is teenagers due to the nature of $200 for Rex Orange County and $50 for their fan base. However, I typically listen Wallows.


Cragle (‘22)

How to avoid major student loan debt Steps every high school student should take in order to avoid having to take out student loans during their college career One in every five American adults struggle to repay their student loan debt, according to Pew Research Center. This issue has remained in the headlines for several years, and while politicians promise actions will be taken to assist those who need help, there have been no government actions to speak of. Even so, college students do not need to obtain student loans. There are several steps to how students can avoid taking out loans, as listed on moneycrashers.com. One of these steps is earning the most scholarships that students possibly can. For high school students in the state of Florida,

Bright Futures presents a great opportunity to lessen debt for students planning on enrolling in a university. In order to qualify, students need to be a Florida resident, earn a high school diploma or equivalent, must not have committed a felony offense, take at least 6-nonremedial semester credit hours per term, and complete the correct applications for the scholarship that they are applying for. Students must also have a weighted 3.5 GPA, an ACT score of 29 or an SAT 1290, and 100 minimum service hours in order to obtain a 100 percent Bright Futures scholarship. In an effort to maintain the

Facesin theCrowd Are you Google, ‘cause you’re everything I’m searching for.


Vogt (‘21)

Are you from Tennessee, ‘cause you’re the only ten I see.


Walters (‘22)

minimum 3.5 GPA, students should try their hardest in school. Study tips, such as those found on princetonreview.com, include paying attention in classes, keeping notes on what you learn, studying a bit every day instead of cramming, and keeping your school supplies organized. Former student Meghan Bertig (‘17) used these tips to achieve a top spot in her graduating class. “In high school, I was extremely organized when it came to assignment due dates and test dates. From knowing these dates, I was able to block off study time accordingly to make sure I gave myself enough time to study,” Bertig said. Students can also take dual

enrollment college classes through Pasco-Hernando State College, eliminating the need for several courses in their college career, making the overall experience cheaper for students. Taking college classes in high school for free also gives students access to free textbooks, eliminating part of the cost. Another way to save on loans is to volunteer during your high school career. Several scholarship programs, such as Bright Futures, require students to volunteer in their community in order to be eligible for their scholarships. “I was involved in a lot of clubs on campus that required service hours and gave service hour

opportunities. Towards my junior year was when I volunteered the most, and this worked towards my advantage when it came to Bright Futures,” Sophie Sajecki (‘18) said. While student loan debt is a common issue for American adults, there are some websites to help students find tips on how to avoid it. For those who want to further their education while avoiding excessive debt, use these tips and more. Other information can be found on websites such as moneycrashers. com and the princetonreview. com. Further questions and answers with past students can be found at https://connectplus. pasco.k12.fl.us/jwmhs-hoofbeat/

What’s the funniest pickup line you’ve heard?

Do you work at McDonalds, ‘cause I’m lovin’ it.


Villicana (‘20)

Are there 21 letters in the alphabet, ‘cause u r a q t.


Szarleta (‘23)

We’re not socks, but I think we make a great pair.


Irizarry (‘20)

Nationwide legalization of marijuana

Talks on legalizing marijuana federally, both for medical and recreational use, continue heating up, and opinions strengthen Maddi Smyth opinions editor Federally legalizing the medical and recreational use of marijuana increasingly occupies the mainstream dialogue of our country today. As the initial shock of this wears off, a sense of normalcy surrounds the previously taboo subject. The population can now form their opinions more freely with access to the facts. “I think marijuana should be legal federally. It would be good for our economy because the government can tax the marijuana and make a lot of money, and by day one 700,000 jobs would be created, and a

lot of people that are wrongly put in jail would be let out. It helps cancer patients recover and manage pain, and if you get injured it will help you feel better, ”Noah Dibattista (‘20) said. According to Pew Research Center, data collected in Nov. 2019 indicated that two-thirds of Americans favor marijuana legalization. In 2019, only eight percent of surveyed Americans did not agree with any legalization. Supporters of legalization often cite its medicinal benefits for patients with painful chronic illnesses, and the freeing up of law enforcement for more severe crimes. There are also economic and cultural benefits of legalization, with the opening

of dispensaries as tax revenue monitor it is where the biggest for the community and as a problem is. For medical community hot-spot. purposes I don’t see anything “People are actually starting wrong with it, but it would have to realize the to have extremely benefits that harsh guidelines. it’s not just a If it’s monitored People are actually bad drug. It’s a and taken in starting to realize the lot better than dosage form, you benefits and that it’s alcohol and that can control how will mess you much gets taken, not just a bad drug. up way more but when kids are Noah than marijuana taking it illegally, ever will,” they often don’t Dibattista (‘20) Dibattista said. feel the effects right Of course, away, so twenty there are those who see the minutes later they take more legalization of marijuana as more and within an hour and a half of a detriment than a benefit. they’re just gone,” said Corporal “I think it would hinder law Greene (FAC). enforcement because it’s a As a school resource officer, gateway drug, so trying to part of Greene’s job is dealing


with the use of drugs in school, which has, of course, led to a rather negative perspective on legalization. “Eventually it’s going to be legalized I’m sure, and if you can curtail what age groups use it, with a responsible person it wouldn’t be really any different than drinking. Any age limit definitely shouldn’t be below the age of twenty-one, because your brain doesn’t fully stop developing until you’re almost 25 in boys,” Corporal Greene said. Though the benefits seem to outweigh the costs, it takes a well-informed mind to understand the consequences, both positive and negative, of marijuana legalization.



On My

First Date ... Kind of Nervous

Couples provide advice and tips about first date experiences from both girls’ and boys’ points-of-view Tori Marjan staff reporter

First dates. No matter how much the people have talked or how long they have known one another, first dates are always a dive into the unknown. First dates can be quite nerve-racking for girls. Preparation for dates, especially anyone’s first could be something stressful. Most girls have dreamt about having their first date, so when it actually happens, a mini freak out can start. Over thinking is common, and it is okay to be unsure, but below is some advice from girls in relationships that can hopefully ease your mind. Grace Martin (‘22) and her boyfriend Logan Hand (‘22) have been dating for 11 months and she makes the most out of every date. On a date, communication is key, so it is always a good idea to prepare before. Conversations don’t have to be deep, but having good topics to talk about will help avoid any awkward silences. “My advice to prepare for dates would be to think of some conversation starters, especially for the first few dates. This could be something you have in common like a class or hobby, or you could think of some specific questions you want to ask to get to know them better,” Martin said. It is understandable to not know what to do or expect when it comes to going on a date, especially if it is the first. Sometimes it is okay to rely on friends to help to make the process more smooth. Friends can help with outfits, makeup, and hair along with building confidence to help the nerves go away. “If you’re really nervous about it, maybe try a double date with one of your friends. It always makes it more fun and makes it easier to start conversations,” Sophia Morgan (‘21) said. Wardrobe is another factor that may bring stress to girls when they start to get ready for a first date. Girls don’t want to be overdressed, but also can’t be underdressed. There is an argument over how much makeup to wear and how to do one’s hair. Knowing where the date is taking place is helpful to the outfit choices. Girls should wear what they feel is comfortable and what they feel good in. “What I first do to prepare for dates is shower, lay out my clothes,

brush my teeth, and do the usual stuff a normal girl would do. For those who haven’t been on a date before, I would find out what the attire is so you don’t just show up in the wrong outfit. You really need to take your time to get to know the other person or each other and make sure you know what you’re going into before you get into it. Feel comfortable, feel confident and honestly just be yourself,” said Malesa Zullo (‘23). While first dates are hard and awkward, girls can just remember to be themselves. The best advice to receive is to take a deep breath and remember that the date is because the feelings are mutual.

Davis Burnette staff reporter

From a boy’s perspective, first dates can be a stressful endeavor. Picking her up, finding the right place to go, and keeping the conversation interesting are all things that run through a guy’s mind after he succeeds in asking a girl out on a date. In fact, according to eHarmony, nearly 40 percent of men do not feel confident dating a woman for the first time. Taking advice from guys who have gone through the journey should increase confidence in your ability to make an emerging relationship worthwhile. According to data gathered from a Twitter poll given by the Hoofbeat, 100 percent of

participants agreed that a boy should be the one asking a girl out, rather than the opposite. One of the first impressions a girl has of a boy is where the first date takes place, so choosing where to go is often at the top of his mind. Michael Smith (‘21) shares his experience on a first date at Lowry Park Zoo with Pearl Torres (‘21) “We went to the Lowry Park Zoo on our date. We had a lot of fun looking at all the animals there, like the penguins and monkeys,” Smith said. Another part of a first date is choosing the right place to eat. Italian food is one of the most popular restaurant spots for a first date. Finding the right price can be difficult; picking a place too expensive or too cheap harms the chances of a second date occurring. “We decided to go to Carrabba’s, and had a lot of fun talking there. I paid, of course,” Julian Costello (‘21) said. An additional important segment on a first date includes keeping a conversation interesting. When a man talks to a woman, she will base 62 percent of her initial impression of him on his body language and what he actually said, based on a study conducted by Loyola University Chicago. Michael Garcia (‘22) explains his conversational strategy. “We talked mostly about our favorite sports, and how we’re going to survive another semester of school,” Garcia laughed. Something at the top of a guy’s mind is whether he should make a move during their first date. Seventy-eight percent of girls base the chances of multiple dates on how confident the guy acts, according to Science of People. However, one does not want to come on too strong and seem overbearing. A perfect balance is needed to achieve a successful first date. Benjamin Horvath (21’) explains his strategy. “I took her to watch Cats, and I put my arm around her during the movie,” Horvath said. Some additional tips are to always make an effort to be on time, make sure your date has your full attention, and acknowledge that there might be some awkwardness at first, but will become natural. The first step is building the confidence needed for asking your crush on a date. Always keep courtesy at the forefront of your mind and look for activities you both will enjoy participating in.

Profile for Mustang Press

The Hoofbeat Vol. 18, Issue 4  

The Hoofbeat Vol. 18, Issue 4